Over/under on when ACHA will decide M1 means something

Tonight we had M1 Slippery Rock lose 10-3 to M2 Florida Gulf Coast. Slippery Rock’s reaction? Call their goalie a hero for making 56 saves. I’m no math whiz (just go with it), but 10 goals and 56 saves adds up to an awful lot of shots for a team from an ostensibly lower division.

Sure, FGCU is a really good M2 team. And Slippery Rock is a really bad M1 team. But why is this much overlap between divisions allowed to happen in the first place? Every time rules are proposed that would raise the bar for M1 performance standards, they get shot down. I’m not going to sit here and claim all those various proposed rules over the years have been the bee’s knees, but it’s a pretty clear message being sent by the voters.

What does being part of ACHA M1 really mean? Anything? It’s absurd.

Note: I don’t mean to pick on Slippery Rock, they’re just a convenient example. I actually really like their involvement on social media and how hard they work to provide their fans with updates. There are a few top-teir M1 programs that could learn something from them in that regard.

Its the bad M1 teams out east that have the control and power of the M1 level. 26 of the 30 bottom M1 teams are East coast teams. Most of them have the same mind settings and therefore their voting power is strong and they stick together. They do this because they are competing heavily in recruiting with NCAA D3 schools. If they were to become ACHA M2 or M3 schools, they would not have as much interest in their program. As they continue to have the M1 title, things will continue this way.
Over the past few years, some competitive M2 teams have applied to move up and get shut down with a majority of the no votes coming from the East coast teams.
Only 7 of the top 30 teams are from the east coast and those 23 of the top 30 teams are the teams who want M1 expansion with competitive good teams. There needs to be some restructuring of the ACHA from top to bottom or these bottom of the barrel M1 teams will continue to make the calls of how M1 is ran and operated.

Dear TheACHAvoice,

I apologize for the language, but I don’t think you know what the f*&# you are talking about.

So these teams, that embarrass themselves every year, are so extremely well organized as to “have the control and power of the M1 level” according to you? Wasn’t it just a few years ago that the CSCHL and the “old guard” had all the power with the Coaches rankings, which is why they switched to Computer rankings?

You really think Villanova, and Temple, and St. Bonaventure, and Cornell, and the aforementioned Slippery Rock are competing against NCAA D3 programs for recruits? Yeah. Sure.

Please name all these “competitive” M2 teams that have applied to move up and got shut down. Did I miss Calvin, NYU and UNLV moving up this year? Have you ever seen a final vote tally? Have you ever talked to a single coach or program about why they make their votes? Or are you wildly speculating based on your own bias… In my experience from years past anywhere from 25-33% of the teams don’t even submit their votes. Do you really think it’s the Lindenwood’s and Arizona’s and Adrian’s skipping that? Or maybe it’s the “bad M1 teams out east” that change coaches every two years, consolidating their power in dark rooms with their apathy.

Generally speaking I agree with fishbert’s point. “what does M1 mean?” I think it’s a lot closer to Florida Gulf Coast should be M1 (as NYU and UNLV did this year) than Slippery Rock shouldn’t be. I personally don’t have as much of a problem with schools like them that experience ups and downs, schools that have been around the ACHA for years and had “glory” seasons including Drexel, Duquesne, Navy, West Chester, Buffalo, etc. Sometimes the right coach or player(s) can make them a Top 30 program, and the wrong hire or fire can torpedo them for seasons. I do 100% agree that their are anywhere from 3-10 schools that embarrass M1 year after year that should be forcibly removed. But that wasn’t the decision of the league as a whole. So while I think it’s a valid question to be asked, the current stance seems to be “they’re ok with it”. But again, you really think at Naples every year, it’s St Bonaventure, Temple, and the rest of the “East Coast Elite” spending all that disposable program income making the decisions for M1? Lol.


I have to agree with Jwilson on this one. I have been to quite a few of the coaches meetings in Naples, and the “old guard” that Jwilson is referring to is the major issue within M1. Take a look at the past few years, we had an excellent addition at ACHA Executive director and he made significant strides to improve the ACHA’s marketability but mainly M1’s overall professionalism. Then miraculously he is no longer the executive director (cough, forced out).

The other major issue within M1 in the east is the effort put into recruiting. A majority of the schools do not take the time to go out and recruit. They either take what they can get or recruit from prep schools which we all know you need kids who played juniors if you want to be remotely competitive at the M1 Level. Theres no excuse to be consistently bad for more than 2 years or so. How are schools like Stony Brook decent every single year? All of the eastern teams don’t have the same loop holes that schools in the midwest have so the only way for them to get quality kids to their school is to go out and put the work in recruiting, plain and simple. Like Jwilson said those mentioned eastern teams aren’t competing for talent with the D3 teams because they’ve had a poor track record and to be honest they aren’t doing a good enough job of selling their school. These kids aren’t going to the NHL and unfortunately you have to explain to them that there is a life after hockey. Thats where, selling the kid on your school and ultimately the degree they are going to have is the most important. However like many schools over the years, Ohio, Liberty, Stony Brook, Delaware, there is still a possibility to have some of your players play in minor leagues.

Fish, I hope the ACHA figures it out and creates some rules around the low hanging fruit in M1, if they don’t it is going to start hurting M1 as a whole, more than it already does.

Just want to interject and point out that the 4th-leading scorer last season didn’t play juniors. He didn’t play his freshman year because the coach didn’t give him a chance due to not coming from juniors. Took a coaching change to get him on the roster, then he started lighting it up.

Okay so there are case by case players haha, but you know what I’m saying, the top 10 teams have either Junior players or Midwest high school players at the minimum and Midwest high school hockey destroys high school hockey on the east coast.

I do recruiting for a D3 team and we directly recruit against D1 teams. In fact, the main reason we lose players to D1 teams is the fact they are D1 not matter how bad they are. These are young kids and they are under the impression that D1 is better hockey. The D1 programs sell it that way. In most cases its true but I think some of the scores show in some cases it’s not. As a D3 team we must try to convince an 18-year-old kid that it’s better to play on the team that is Nationally relevant then just telling your friends you play D1 club.

Sorry I digress the question is how do we make D1, or D2 for that matter, relevant and not just a label any team can apply for. How about the ACHA move to a format like European Soccer where so many successful teams are forced to move up every year and so many bad teams must move down. For example, the bottom 10 D1 teams must move down to D2 and the top 10 D2 teams must move to D1?

Now I know there will be exceptions to the rule like a team already having a D1 team but these can be viewed as one off or make them create two D1 teams.


Have you ever seen one of these prep school games? I think your very wrong in your theories… Prep school hockey kills junior hockey in the north east. Yeah high school hockey isnt as good as the high schools in the mid west. And the prep school teams cant compete with USHL teams, but prep school is much better then most tier 3 junior teams.

The bigger reason that these prep school kids dont play a lot of ACHA hockey is because a lot of them care more about education then just playing hockey, which is why they go the prep school route. Check NCAA D3 schools in north east, they are littered with prep school kids.

When you say junior hockey, you have to be more specific, the difference between a guy playing the USHL and USPHL Elite is absolutely huge, there are a lot of junior hockey programs that are pretty much pay to play junior hockey, so I am not totally sure which leagues you are talking about.

Sorry for the off topic rant

Going back to the earlier posts in the thread, it looks like the vetting process for D1 is improving. The new teams for this year-Calvin, NYU and UNLV have all been in the top 25 this season. William Patterson has been one of the top D2 programs for years and needed to move up. Hopefully, D2 Florida Gulf Coast and Grand Valley follow suit.

agreed. Here’s hoping the Coaches at D1 continue to limit who comes in to the league to only the top teams, and more important that the top programs from D2 & D3 continue to try and move up.

Certainly there are still some programs at the bottom that either don’t deserve to be there, or aren’t in the same “league” as the top 25, however if you look at the distribution of quality and terrible teams vs 5 & 10 years ago, it’s certainly a lot better and a lot more balanced. Even without an official policy to kick out those bottom schools, the truly embarrassing ones have filtered out over time, and will continue to do so.